New equipment to explore the frontiers of quantum materials and circuits

Patrick Fournier, André-Marie Tremblay, Bertrand Reulet, Louis Taillefer, Eva Dupont-Ferrier, Jeffrey Quilliam.

Photo : Martin Blache collaborateur - UdeS

A team of six scientists at the Université de Sherbrooke will soon be able to take advantage of new state-of-the-art equipment to continue their exploration of quantum matter and materials, and support the development of quantum computing and numerical calculation methods. These technological tools are being added to the research arsenal of the researchers thanks to an investment of over $11 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Quebec government and several partners, including the UdeS.  

The team, comprising Professor Éva Dupont-Ferrier and Professors Patrick Fournier, Jeffrey Quilliam, Bertrand Reulet and André-Marie Tremblay, is led by Louis Taillefer. These professors from the Department of Physics and members of the Quantum Institute are collaborating on this project with scientists from McMaster University and the University of Toronto. The Frontiers of Quantum Materials and Circuits project is aimed at understanding materials while considering the possibility of using them to develop new quantum technologies, such as quantum computers and quantum sensors.   

UdeS expertise mobilized 

The expertise developed at the Université de Sherbrooke over a number of years forms the backdrop to this research grant, whether in quantum materials, quantum computing or the exploration of new states of matter. As a result, scientists will be able, for example, to continue investigating one of the greatest enigmas of quantum science, the pseudogap phase of superconducting cuprates.  

The equipment will also make it possible to probe states of matter at even colder temperatures, apply stronger magnetic fields and improve numerical calculation methods. At McMaster University and the University of Toronto, the new facilities will be used to synthesize and characterize samples. 

Professor Louis Taillefer, who heads up the project, believes that this funding will open up opportunities for collaboration: 

“The CFI’s decision to fund our project takes shape thanks to the exceptional synergy between the members of the Sherbrooke team. The project will also benefit from the support of colleagues from other universities. Our team is joined by our colleagues Hae-Young Kee and Young-June Kim from the University of Toronto, and Bruce Gaulin and Patrick Clancy from McMaster University, with whom we have forged strong links over the years. These links provide us with high-quality samples, without which we wouldn’t be able to do our job of understanding the behavior of electrons in new materials.” 

 “The scientists gathered at the Institut quantique already work at the interface of disciplines in a natural way; this project will foster greater cooperation between specialists in quantum computing and quantum materials.”  

– Professor Louis Taillefer  

Interdisciplinarity and student training 

Beyond the acquisition of equipment, the spin-offs will encourage work that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. The ripple effect will be felt in laboratories and collaborative spaces, influencing both faculty and the student community, who will benefit from training using state-of-the-art equipment. 

“The last few years have been rich in important advances for our respective fields. There are still fundamental issues to be resolved. It’s exciting to be able to continue tackling fundamental questions of science.” 

– Professor Louis Taillefer 

For the Vice-Rector, Research and Graduate Studies, this funding is both a recognition of our expertise and an invitation to students to join our research teams: 

“In both Ottawa and Quebec, this equipment is part of quantum strategies. The research students we recruit will be able to advance knowledge by conducting their work with state-of-the-art facilities in a rapidly expanding field of science.” 

– Professor Jean-Pierre Perreault, Vice-Rector, Research and Graduate Studies 

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